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United States beats Guatemala 1-0 in WC qualifier

United States beats Guatemala 1-0 in WC qualifier

Carlos Bocanegra scored on a header in the 69th minute, and the United States escaped from Guatemala with a 1-0 victory Wednesday in the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying.
Unmarked about 3 yards from the goal, the U.S. captain headed in second-half substitute DaMarcus Beasley's corner for his 10th goal in 59 international appearances.
Beasley had entered the match three minutes earlier when a bleeding Eddie Lewis came off on a stretcher after his head collided with a forearm from Guatemala's Jose Manuel Contreras when both leaped for the ball.
Bocanegra played a solid all-around game, disrupting Carlos Ruiz and Carlos Manuel Contreras from getting the crossing passes that could have led to dangerous chances.
The Americans, favored to make their sixth straight World Cup appearance, had tied all four of their previous qualifiers at Guatemala _ their only win in a 1988 friendly.
The U.S. team played a man short after defender Steve Cherundolo was ejected in the 60th minute for tripping up Freddy Garcia and receiving his second yellow card. Cherundolo will miss the Sept. 6 qualifier at Cuba.
American goalkeeper Tim Howard, and midfielders Pablo Mastroeni and Clint Dempsey also were given yellow cards, meaning they would be suspended if they get another yellow card in qualifying.
Guatemala outshot the 31st-ranked Americans 16-9 before a capacity crowd of about 25,000 at Estadio Mateo Flores.
Earlier, Trinidad and Tobago won 3-1 at Cuba, giving the United States and the Soca Warriors a big advantage in the four-team group. The top two teams advance to next year's regional finals in the North and Central American and Caribbean region.
Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu played for the United States after returning from Beijing, where they were on the American team that was eliminated in the first round of the Olympics.